Friday, December 4, 2009
What's a "progressive" anyway?
"Progressive"- It's just another weasel word.
"Progressive" is merely a term that was salvaged from the scrapheap of history, sorry but that's too great a metaphor not to steal, by the alleged "left" in this country because the Limbaughs,Kristols,et al had so demonized the word "liberal." That's basically it, plain and simple. The problem is, that in spite of the fact they were led by one of the biggest imperialists and warmongers, the original Progressives,were a bunch of Bolsheviks, compared to the hegemonic capitalists who wrap themselves in the "progressive" mantle today.
While some of us here know that modern-day liberalism was founded to be a capitalist-friendly "third way" between socialism,and conservatism, most people do not. If they did and truly understood this history they would not waste all of their time and effort into trying to make "liberals", and The Democratic Party in particular, into the socialists they might want them to be.
A "progressive" is someone who cannot admit to the systemic failure of the society. Through this stubborn blindness, they reveal their own fundamental loyalty to the social system as a whole. The solution to the "anti-democratic" turn in American politics is not to question its foundations but to proscribe "more democracy" or "real democracy", without evaluating for a minute whether the ""turn" is really an aberration. In economics, a "progressive" is one who blames an excess of greed, a deficiency of regulation, or the corruption of the state rather than the normal operation of capitalism. In this way, "progressives" are identical to Libertarians who, in the face of insurmountable evidence, continue to insist that it is "too little" and not too much "free enterprise" which is the problem.
We need a capitalism based on good intentions says the one, based on a strengthening of the "individual" claims the next, and one purged of racial corruption declares the last. Fixing capitalism is the highest and in fact the only slogan of all of the above, and this in the most trivial and unhistorical way possible. Those are the last and the only words of this brand of "radical" criticism which is actually a radical support for the society as it exists... if only that society could be "allowed" to achieve its "true" nature.
All too often "progressive" has come to mean someone who will offer unconditional support to The Democratic Party no matter what.
A progressive is someone who believes in the system.
Progressives and liberals are as ready as conservatives to support government interventions in our lives and on the world stage. The country in question may be Sudan, Afghanistan or perhaps Iran. The clarion call is the same. "We must do something” because “we” are superior, all knowing, and chosen by a divine force to make the world in whatever image we choose.
No one asks how “we” is defined, or if the presence of the United States is needed or wanted. No one asks about the history of past interventions and their usually negative outcomes. It is assumed that Americans are good and know what is best for the world, despite a long history of numerous brutalities carried out across the globe.